“The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied and now it’s being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot.”
Airbnb — a company that has been embroiled in plenty of controversies in the past — issued an apology on Monday after it received backlash for allowing an “1830s slave cabin” to be listed on its platform.
The absolutely tasteless and now-deleted listing — billed as “The Panther Burn Cottage at Belmont Plantation” in Greenville, Mississippi — went viral after Wynton Yates, a civil rights attorney, uploaded a video to TikTok last week calling out the cabin, its owner, and the guests that stayed there.
“The history of slavery in this country is constantly denied,” Yates said in the video, “and now it’s being mocked by being turned into a luxurious vacation spot.”
Airbnb has since realized its mistake and has gone on the defensive.
“Properties that formerly housed the enslaved have no place on Airbnb,” company spokesman Ben Breit told Business Insider in a statement on Tuesday. “We apologize for any trauma or grief created by the presence of this listing, and others like it, and that we did not act sooner to address this issue.”
Watching the Sunset
As if the listing wasn’t bad enough, the reviews are infuriatingly airy.
“Memorable,” read one review, as captured in Yates’ video. “Highly recommend watching the sunset!”
“We stayed in the sharecropper cabin and ate in the main house,” read another. “The house tour was great and so was the breakfast.”
Do these people not realize they’re talking about a place where slaves were forced to live?
Of course, the interior of the Airbnb cabin has been gentrified, with an updated, modern interior that glosses over the horrible living conditions that were once afforded to slaves.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Brad Hauser, who listed the property on Airbnb, blamed the previous owner, who allegedly chose to market the cabin as a quarters for slaves, even though it had originally been a doctor’s office.
“I am not interested in making money off slavery,” said Hauser.
Probably shouldn’t have put the listing up then, huh?
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